University of Saskatchewan
Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it. - Alton Brown  

Low Research Group
What is Food Science?
Food Authenticity and Traceability

Dr. Nicholas H. Low
Phone: (306) 966-5037
Office: Agriculture 3E18
Lab: Agriculture 3E13
University of Saskatchewan
College of Agriculture and Bioresources
Food and Bioproduct Sciences
College of Arts & Science
Food Science
College of Graduate Studies and Research

    Is that juice you are drinking really 100% pure? How do you know? Can you ever know for sure? From the watering down of wine in Roman times to the addition of toxic chemicals, such as lead, as colourants to candies in the 1700-1800s and, more recently, the addition of melamine to milk powder in China in 2008, food fraud is a serious worldwide issue with both economic and health impacts for consumers and producers.

    Our research group works primarily in the area of food authenticity and traceability. We work to develop analytical methods to detect the adulteration of food products. Specifically, we look at methods to detect debasing, which is the undeclared addition of a lesser value ingredient to a product. We are like 'food detectives' working to help catch 'cheaters' in the food industry. As well, our research group works in the areas of microencapsulation of bioactive compounds and in the study of glycosidases (enzymes that use carbohydrates as substrates) and their relationship to oligosaccharide formation. Past and present research projects include:


  • The determination of the chemical composition of agave syrup and the application of this data to authenticity analysis

  • The encapsulation of prebiotics and probiotics

  • Determination of the chemical and physicochemical properties of fruits harvested in Saskatchewan

    For more information on authenticity and traceability click here. To try your hand at identifying adulterated products click here. For other useful information refer to the links at the side.